Skip to content

Where’s the Lava?

December 9, 2013

Where’s the Lava?

That’s the question  EVERYONE who walks into the Kīlauea Visitor Center at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park asks.

Simply put, the best, closest, and most “user-friendly” eruption viewing continues to be of Halema‘uma‘u Crater from the overlook at Jaggar Museum.

Halema‘uma‘u Crater setting the evening aglow with the reflection of the lava lake below. NPS Photo/Michael Szoenyi, geoland.ch

Halema‘uma‘u Crater setting the evening aglow with the reflection of the lava lake below. NPS Photo/Michael Szoenyi, geoland.ch

While Kīlauea continues to erupt from two locations (at the summit from Halema‘uma‘u and in the remote east rift zone from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent),  the flows from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō are inaccessible to hikers. These flows are burning through rainforest northeast of the vent in the Kahauale‘a Natural Area Reserve. The NAR is closed to the public, and falls under the jurisdiction of the State of Hawai‘i’s Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Last Friday, scientists from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory flew over the flows and took these images:

Continuing the same trend of activity observed over the past few weeks, the active breakouts on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow are still slowly advancing into the forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, creating small vegetation fires. Photo/caption courtesy of USGS HVO.

Continuing the same trend of activity observed over the past few weeks, the active breakouts on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow are still slowly advancing into the forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, creating small vegetation fires. Photo/caption courtesy of USGS HVO.

This thermal image looks northeast from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and shows how the subsurface lava tubes feeding the active breakouts on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow are clearly visible as lines of slightly higher temperatures on the surface. At the bottom of the image, the lava tube coming from Puʻu ʻŌʻō forks, with the eastern branch supplying lava to the main area of active breakouts (5 km, or about 3 miles, northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō) and the western branch feeding a small area of breakouts about 2 km (1.2 miles) north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Image/caption courtesy of USGS HVO.

This thermal image looks northeast from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and shows how the subsurface lava tubes feeding the active breakouts on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow are clearly visible as lines of slightly higher temperatures on the surface. At the bottom of the image, the lava tube coming from Puʻu ʻŌʻō forks, with the eastern branch supplying lava to the main area of active breakouts (5 km, or about 3 miles, northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō) and the western branch feeding a small area of breakouts about 2 km (1.2 miles) north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Image/caption courtesy of USGS HVO.

Reports from the County of Hawai‘i’s Kalapana Lava Viewing Area, located at the end of Highway 130,  state that several hundred visitors a night have been enjoying intermittent glow from the Kahaualea flow far in the distance on the pali, or cliffs, above. Sometimes visibility is obscured by rain and/or clouds.

Want to learn more about the current activity from Halema‘uma‘u which started in 2008? Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park rangers provide a 20-minute “Life on the Edge” talk daily at 2 p.m., 3:30 and 5 p.m. We hope to see you there!

"Life on the Edge"

Park Ranger Dean Gallagher shares the “Life on the Edge” talk with visitors at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 232,880 other followers

%d bloggers like this: